The 2013 Texas High School Coaches Association football All-Star Game resembled something more akin to a home run derby.
The North All-Stars beat the South All-Stars 39-29, but Lufkin wide receiver JaBryce Taylor was Tuesday’s real winner at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium.
The incoming SMU Mustang broke the game’s record for most receiving yards with 226 from 10 receptions, last set in 1986 by Percy Waddle of Columbus and Texas A&M fame when he collected 173 yards.
“To put on a performance like that, I just had to calm down and do what I did in high school,” Taylor, the game’s offensive MVP, said.
Taylor owes some of the accomplishment to former Stephenville quarterback Tyler Jones, a Texas State signee, who spun him a 24-yard touchdown pass to open up the game’s scoring with 9:04 left in the first quarter.
“He was a freak,” Jones said of Taylor. “Coaches were telling us that we were all all-stars and we’ve got to be a freak about it. He was a freak tonight. It was awesome.”
Another Tarrant County product, Southlake Carroll’s Tanner Jacobson, helped his North All-Star squad retake the lead after he pulled in an interception halfway through the second quarter.
On the very next play, the North team began the fireworks show, converting a double-reverse pass for a 64-yard touchdown, caught by none other than Taylor.
The South scored once more before the end of the half on a 32-yard pass from Jake Hubenak of Georgetown and Oklahoma State to Keith Ratley of Yoakum, bringing the score up to 14-12.
Before the teams returned to the locker room at the half, Jacobson electrified the crowd with a 34-yard field goal return after he caught the kick in the back of the end zone, making it truly around a 43-yard run.
“I looked down after I caught it, and I don’t think I had a blade of grass to spare,” he said. “I thought that was pretty cool. I started to go down the sideline, and I always wanted to hurdle someone. I saw one dude and I was kind of squaring him up, then I realized he was probably 6-2 or 6-3. I decided I wasn’t going to get hurt, so I ran out of bounds.”
The North was the only team to add to the scoreboard in the third quarter, when Corsicana Mildred graduate Nic Shimonek, an Iowa signee, connected with future Red Raider and Whitehouse alumnus Dylan Cantrell on a 69-yard touchdown pass.
Both teams would combine for five touchdowns in the fourth quarter, three of which were from the black-and-white-clad North team to seal the win.
Taylor accounted for three of the North’s touchdowns in his record-setting performance. Cantrell also surpassed the old mark with 183 receiving yards of his own. Ratley finished with 165 yards.
Hubenak’s 294 passing yards broke the game record of 246 yards, also set in 1986 by Lance Pavlas of Tomball.
Both teams broke the record for combined number of completed passes with 50; the previous record was set at 40 in the 2004 game.
Among all the shattered records Tuesday, Fort Bend Hightower’s Joshua Price, now of Southern Nazarene, picked up the defensive MVP honors thanks to a quiet performance that contained two point-after blocks and a point-after block recovery.
Note: A moment of silence, in memory of the former Euless Trinity players killed Monday in a New Mexico automobile accident, was observed during halftime.